'I don't want mat leave to end!
This has to be the second most common thing I hear while documenting families over the course of a year with the First Year Package. The first being, 'where has the time gone?!'
You've been home with your baby for a full year, sometimes longer.
You've developed a routine that is just for you and the baby.
A lot of the days have just been you and your child.
It's been hard, it's been lonely, it's been exhausting, it's been trying and it's been rewarding.
Going back to work, I know for a lot of you, is the last thing you want to do.
I totally get this.
So I developed a package called the Parental Leave Session.
Who: Just you and your baby and any siblings that have been there during your mat leave.
When: Right before you go back to work. This package is best done within the 2 weeks before you start work again.
Where: In your home and any locations that are part of your daily routine.
What: I will follow you around for 3 hours, acting like a fly on the wall, while you go about your daily routine.
Why: You've spent an entire year home with your baby. Why not tell that story?
Lauren was home from work for the first two years of Olive's life. The week before returning to work, I documented a 3 hour slice of her day with Olive. This is what the photos mean to her:
"I was really struggling with mourning the return to work. Alex's photos brought me a kind of peace I wasn't expecting. The feeling is that of regret - I didn't do enough, we didn't do everything I'd planned, I could have been more this, I should have been more that. Looking over our photos, I could see - it was enough. I was enough. I also love how happy I look. I'm usually very self-conscious, and in my head about my imperfect mom bod, my post-partum hair, and I never never NEVER smile with my teeth in photos (not even on my wedding day). Alex caught me enjoying my daughter unselfconsciously , and my smile is as real as it has ever been. There's one thing to know you enjoy your kid, there's another to see it. There’s a tone to her photos that is unlike anyone else’s I know, and I feel so lucky I was able to have these last moments in this part of our story captured in this way. It’s very bittersweet, but that’s just because of all the love.
I love the shots of me carrying her on my shoulders, because it shows how strong motherhood has made me. I love the shots of her crying, because it shows how she turns to me for comfort. I love the shots of me nursing her in public, because it shows how motherhood has lowered my inhibitions. And I love the shots of her making me laugh, because this girl is hilarious, and has been since day 1."